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I told police some BJP leaders want to destabilise Khattar, will try violence: Jat leader Yashpal Malik

An interview of the leader of Jat agitation who says, "We are not demanding a separate category for reservation. If the government feels... the backward quota is not enough, it can be increased."

Written by Khushboo Sandhu | Updated: February 29, 2016 2:19:28 am
jat, jat stir, jat quota, jat leaders, jat quota stir, jat reservation, reservation for jats, yashpal malik, haryana jat leaderm haryana agitation, haryana jat agitation, haryana news Yashpal Malik addresses Jat agitators in Rohtak last week. (Express Photo)

Why do Jats need reservation?
Jats are not demanding reservation. There is already reservation for Jats in nine states. This impression needs to be cleared. Jats are not seeking reservation in the manner Patels or Gujjars are seeking it. Jats already had reservation in Haryana from 1991 to 1994. It was scrapped by Bhajan Lal.

But Jats are considered a prosperous community with a large share in jobs and large landholdings.
The word “landlord” that has been coined, it does not mean a landlord… If you conduct a survey of Kurukshetra, 60 per cent landholdings are with Sainis, so why do they get reservation? A survey of Rewari district would show 80 per cent landholdings with Yadavs; why do they get reservation? In Hisar, the Prajapati caste has bigger farmers than Jats. All commissions set up over the years considered Jats an agrarian community and recommended reservation, but Jats are being kept out due to political rivalry.

The high court and the Supreme Court have rejected your case for reservation.
The high court never rejected… It issued a notice and the government withdrew the reservation given by [then CM] B S Hooda as it had been meant to fool the people. A bill should have come to the assembly;reservation should have been in the backward classes category, but it was given in another. The Supreme Court cancelled it as [Congress leader] Kumari Selja got a report from National Commission for Backward Classes admitted, stating Jats are prosperous and have no right to reservation. No survey was done. The SC is not the forum to give or withdraw. The Congress gave reservation outside the purview of law, the SC cancelled it. We are not demanding a separate category for reservation. If the government feels the population is high and the backward quota is not enough, it can be increased to 35 per cent or 37 or 40.

The agitation took a violent turn.
The violence was created by the Haryana government and they prepared for the last one year for this. People from other communities have been caught for looting and arson. Did we burn our houses? Did we set our dharamsalas on fire? Did we burn the houses of our leaders?…Across the country, whenever agitations take place, it is the ruling party that creates violence… They used bullets, just like the Jallianwala Bagh massacre… In Haryana, there is competition in the BJP. People within want M L Khattar’s government to fall… I informed the ADG (Intelligence) on February 16 that some BJP leaders want to destabilise Khattar and will try to create violence. They have my call records. We are protesters but do not indulge in violence.

The CM had called a meeting with the Jat leaders. What went wrong?
I had asked the ADGP (Intelligence) to ask the CM to hold a meeting with the agitators along with some ministers, instead of calling a meeting in Chandigarh. To mislead people and avoid fulfilling the demands, people who had no link to the agitation were called. They called their own party workers and told them reservation has been given in EBP [extremely poor backwards category]. Those who attended knew that if they agreed to this, people outside would beat them up. So they said they have not reached a compromise.

Is it true that some police officers backed the agitators and took no action?
Wherever Jat officers were present, no violence took place. At places where non-Jats were present, they indulged in cruelty. In Rohtak, there was firing… It seemed the police did not know how to handle the protesters. Why did such violence not take place in other districts? Wherever good officers were present, whether Jat or non-Jat, no incidents happened.

What is the future course of action?
We want the government to meet our demands and take action against officials involved in inciting the violence. Why is an FIR not being registered against [BJP MP Raj Kumar] Saini? This conspiracy has been hatched just to defame Jats. It is the responsibility of the government to expose this. The government has promised that it will bring a bill in this assembly session.

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